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Cloud Control

Written by Jesse Hayward on April 21, 2009

It’s rare to hear music infused with sweetness and light that is neither sappy lovelorn faux-lyricism nor crappy mainstream pop, but somehow Cloud Control manage to stay on the lighter side without falling all the way into the pink fluffy pit. With an album coming out in April, Alister Wright is hard at work in the beautiful Megalong Valley, capturing rich mountain air and pumping it into the Clouds.

Alister is basking in the soft mist that plays through his open window. “We’re still writing some songs for the album. The valley is an isolated place, nice to work in. There’s no town nearby, just properties, it can be inspirational. The weather’s been pretty hot but we had some rain today which was nice.”

With such magnificent surrounds we lesser mortals might be distracted from our work but Alister and the band are on track for the new album release, despite forays into the wider world. “We went on the Josh Pyke tour recently and that kind of pushed things back a bit. We’re still working on it though and it should be pretty close to the scheduled release date.”

Such selflessness, to bless Australian crowds with a tour, at a time when work on the album might seem more important. “The tour was great. They (Josh Pyke’s crew) are all really nice guys, we hung out with them quite a bit. Also Josh is quite popular so the gigs were always selling out which is great, especially for us.”

The original Cloud Control EP was all analog recording which gave each track a natural feel, harking back to golden ages of music. “Yeah we really like that sound. We found that the more digital stuff we put in the less happy we were with the outcome. We’ll probably be recording most of the new album live and any overdubs that need doing will go in later.”

As John Morley said, “Evolution is not a force, but a process; not a cause, but a law”. Cloud Control are implicitly aware of this, as their live sets prove: “As we write new songs we incorporate them into the set and chuck old stuff out. We get a lot of feedback from the audience too, so the songs on the album have evolved over time from being played live. Though the thing with playing as a support act is that you tend to play your more crowd-pleasing stuff, the more rocky stuff, so there’ll be tracks on the album that no-one’s ever heard before.”

Rumours abound that the members of Cloud Control met backstage at a Pirates of Penzance show, but as Alister says: “That’s not true.” Short and to the point is our Alister.

A light was shone on the band by Triple J’s Unearthed program, enhancing their brilliance and bringing them attention on a national level. “Triple J have been pretty important for us. When you get airplay on Triple J you start to get taken more seriously by bookers and promoters etc, which obviously means more exposure, so yeah, they’ve been great. We’re actually playing at a Triple J-sponsored stage at the Royal Easter Show. Who knows what the crowd’s going to be like, but we’ll be there!”

Last year Cloud Control won the Best New Artist prize at the Sydney Music, Arts and Culture Awards. “We didn’t expect to win at all! In fact the night of the awards I almost didn’t want to go, I didn’t think we really had a chance, but yeah, we won… Pretty humbling.”

So, despite the obvious admiration of the greater music world, Alister retains his humility.

Cloud Control’s next posted gig is Come Together @ The Luna Park Big Top, June 6th so be sure to get down there for some sweet mountain sounds – and no pirates.

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